The Supreme Court yesterday fixed May 11 for hearing pleas challenging validity of triple talaq. The SC further said that a Five-Judge Constitution Bench will hear the matter. The Court said it would hold daily sittings between May 11 and May 19 to decide pleas by Muslim women to declare the practice of oral talaq illegal.
The Muslim clergy, represented by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and others, have argued that triple talaq has the sanction of the Quran, forms part of Muslim personal law and, therefore, falls squarely outside the purview of the judiciary. The Centre has argued that the issue concerns gender justice rather than religious rights of the minority community, setting the stage for a legal battle which can have serious repercussions.
Triple talaq has faced repeated legal challenges in recent years, and the government has said it wants to replace it with a new uniform civil code applicable to all religious groups. But that proposal has met stiff opposition from Muslim groups, who argue that it would discriminate against them.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it was his administration’s duty to ensure the rights of Muslim women were upheld.
India has separate sets of personal laws for each religion governing marriage, divorce, succession, adoption and maintenance. While Hindu law overhaul began in the 1950s and continues, activists have long argued that Muslim personal law has remained mostly unchanged.